Arizona enters pre-statehood era with draconian abortion law
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2022
PHOENIX – Representatives Athena Salman and Melody Hernandez released the following statements Friday afternoon after a Pima County Superior Court Judge lifted an injunction on a draconian territorial-era near total ban on all abortions in Arizona, even in cases of rape and incest.
Salman has led the House Democratic caucus fight against abortion restrictions for the past six years, introducing legislation to repeal the territorial-era ban in multiple sessions.
“When someone decides to have an abortion, it should be safe, affordable, and free from punishment and judgement. This ruling does the opposite," Representative Salman said. "By rolling back the clock almost 160 years, the radical right has taken Arizona backwards to when any pregnant person and their doctors would live under threat of prosecution for seeking or providing any medical care that results in an early termination of a pregnancy. This violates what the vast majority of Arizonans want. For years I have introduced legislation to repeal this antiquated law, only to have the bill shelved by the extremists controlling the legislature. We deserve better."
Representative Hernandez has shared her abortion story in legislative testimony against restrictions on reproductive healthcare. A paramedic, she has also spent time over the past two weeks volunteering with an abortion provider assisting in what may be some of the last legal abortions in Arizona for the immediate future.
"Criminalizing abortion puts the life and freedom of every pregnant person at risk," Hernandez said. "But we know who this ruling will impact most severely -- people of color, those who aren't well connected and those who aren't wealthy will pay the steepest price. Volunteering to help women seeking abortions this week, I saw people from all different age groups, teens up to early 50s, all backgrounds, people who had not made this intimate and deeply personal decision easily. When the procedures were over, I saw relief, like a weight lifted and they had their life back. Criminalizing healthcare is just wrong, and Arizona will not stand for it."